Beijing: A Chinese World Cup commentator caused an uproar in the country as he shouted "Long Live Italy" and declared "I don't like Team Australia" after the Azzurri knocked out the Socceroos on a last-minute penalty shot in a second-round match in Cologne.
Huang Jianxiang, a commentator for national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), lost his cool as Francesco Totti converted the penalty to give 10-man Italy a 1-0 win over Australia yesterday.
The 38-year-old Huang shouted himself hoarse after Italian defender Fabio Grosso tumbled over Lucas Neill's challenge in the Australian box. As Francesco Totti blasted home the penalty, Huang shrieked in excitement.
"Biased and crazy as he is, Huang Jianxiang has to quit as a soccer show host," a netizen named Ximen Yidao posted on a prominent news website.
Popular Chinese portals such as Sina.Com and Sohu.Com's online discussion forums were flooded with messages about Huang's outburst today. More Web surfers blasted at Huang than those siding with him.
"Huang went too far," said a message on Sina. "He shouldn't extol an ugly-playing Italian team and ridicule the brave Australian squad." As Australia coach Guus Hiddink disputed Italy's last gasp penalty which killed Australia's World Cup dream, Huang said Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo's decision was wise. "It was an undisputed penalty," shouted Huang in the last minute of the game.